JCPENNEY REPORTS A $39 MILLION INCREASE IN OPERATING INCOME FOR THE THIRD QUARTER 2016; A 140 BASIS POINT RATE IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PRIOR YEAR

Net Loss improves 42 percent over the same period last year

Company reaffirms its full year earnings and $1 billion EBITDA guidance


PLANO, Texas – (Nov. 11, 2016) – J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced financial results for its third quarter ended Oct. 29, 2016. Comparable sales were (0.8) % for the third quarter, providing a two-year stack of 5.6 %. Net loss improved 42 % versus the prior year to $(67) million.

“We are pleased to see strong sales performance in the growth initiatives we discussed at our most recent analyst meeting. The results of these initiatives are reflected in a positive sales comp in the month of October, driven by over 200 basis points of comp benefit from our 500 new appliance showrooms,” said Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer. “We view our October sales results – specifically our acceleration in the last two weeks of the month – and the benefit from appliances as examples of what we expect for the balance of the fourth quarter. Despite experiencing softness in apparel sales, we are continuing to improve the bottom line of our business thanks to the commitment and hard work of our over 100,000 Associates.”

Ellison continued, "We are excited about the initiatives we have in place to drive incremental growth during the Holiday Season with our increased appliance penetration, new Sephora locations, free same day pick up for online orders, a strong cadence of promotional events and our new lowest price guarantee. We are also thrilled about delivering a 200 basis point improvement in our private label credit card penetration in the third quarter, which led to our highest penetration in many years. These and other initiatives reinforce our confidence in our ability to achieve $1 billion in EBITDA for 2016."

For the quarter, Sephora, Home, Salon and Fine Jewelry were the Company’s top performing divisions. Geographically, the Pacific and Northwest were the best performing regions of the country.

For the third quarter, gross margin was 37.2 % of sales, a 10 basis point decline compared to the same period last year.

SG&A expenses for the quarter decreased $59 million to $888 million, or 31.1 % of sales, representing a 160 basis point improvement from last year. These savings were primarily driven by lower corporate overhead, incentive compensation and store controllable costs.

For the third quarter, the Company delivered a 42 % improvement in net loss over the prior year to $(67) million or $(0.22) per share. Adjusted earnings per share improved 54 % to a loss of $(0.21) per share for the third quarter this year compared to a loss of $(0.46) per share last year.

EBITDA improved $36 million to $172 million for the quarter, a 26 % improvement from the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA improved 57 % to $174 million, a $63 million improvement from the same period last year.

A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures is included in the schedules accompanying the consolidated financial statements in this release.

Outlook
The Company has updated its 2016 full year guidance as follows:

  • Comparable store sales: expected to now increase 1% to 2%;
  • Gross margin: expected to now be flat versus 2015;
  • SG&A dollars: expected to decrease versus 2015;
  • EBITDA1: expected to be $1 billion;
  • Adjusted earnings per share1: expected to be positive;
  • Free cash flow1: expected to improve versus 2015

1 A reconciliation of non-GAAP forward-looking projections to GAAP financial measures is not available as the nature or amount of potential adjustments, which may be significant, cannot be determined at this time.

Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call Details
At 8:30 a.m. ET today, the Company will host a live conference call conducted by chairman and chief executive officer Marvin R. Ellison and chief financial officer Ed Record. Management will discuss the Company's performance during the quarter and take questions from participants. To access the conference call, please dial (844) 243-9275, or (225) 283-0394 for international callers, and reference 7715351 conference ID or visit the Company’s investor relations website at http://ir.jcpenney.com. Supplemental slides will be available on the Company’s investor relations website approximately 10 minutes before the start of the conference call.

Telephone playback will be available for seven days beginning approximately two hours after the conclusion of the conference call by dialing (855) 859-2056, or (404) 537-3406 for international callers, and referencing 7715351 conference ID.

Investors and others should note that we currently announce material information using SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts.  In the future, we will continue to use these channels to distribute material information about the Company and may also utilize our website and/or various social media to communicate important information about the Company, key personnel, new brands and services, trends, new marketing campaigns, corporate initiatives and other matters.  Information that we post on our website or on social media channels could be deemed material; therefore, we encourage investors, the media, our customers, business partners and others interested in our Company to review the information we post on our website as well as the following social media channels:

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jcp) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/jcpnews).

Any updates to the list of social media channels we may use to communicate material information will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Company’s website at www.jcpenney.com


Media Relations:
(972) 431-3400 or [email protected]

Investor Relations:
(972) 431-5500 or [email protected]

About JCPenney:
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), one of the nation’s largest apparel and home furnishings retailers, is on a mission to ensure every customer’s shopping experience is worth her time, money and effort. Whether shopping jcp.com or visiting one of over 1,000 store locations across the United States and Puerto Rico, she will discover a broad assortment of products from a leading portfolio of private, exclusive and national brands.  Supporting this value proposition is the warrior spirit of over 100,000 JCPenney associates worldwide, who are focused on the Company’s three strategic priorities of strengthening private brands, becoming a world-class omnichannel retailer and increasing revenue per customer. For additional information, please visit jcp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Words such as “expect” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which include, but are not limited to, statements regarding sales, gross margin, selling, general and administrative expenses, earnings and cash flows.  Forward-looking statements are based only on the Company’s current assumptions and views of future events and financial performance. They are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of the Company’s control that may cause the Company’s actual results to be materially different from planned or expected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, including inflation, recession, unemployment levels, consumer confidence and spending patterns, credit availability and debt levels, changes in store traffic trends, the cost of goods, more stringent or costly payment terms and/or the decision by a significant number of vendors not to sell us merchandise on a timely basis or at all, trade restrictions, the ability to monetize non-core assets on acceptable terms, the ability to implement our strategic plan including our omnichannel initiatives, customer acceptance of our strategies, our ability to attract, motivate and retain key executives and other associates, the impact of cost reduction initiatives, our ability to generate or maintain liquidity, implementation of new systems and platforms including EMV chip technology, changes in tariff, freight and shipping rates, changes in the cost of fuel and other energy and transportation costs, disruptions and congestion at ports through which we import goods, increases in wage and benefit costs, competition and retail industry consolidations, interest rate fluctuations, dollar and other currency valuations, the impact of weather conditions, risks associated with war, an act of terrorism or pandemic, the ability of the federal government to fund and conduct its operations, a systems failure and/or security breach that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or Company information, legal and regulatory proceedings and the Company’s ability to access the debt or equity markets on favorable terms or at all.  There can be no assurances that the Company will achieve expected results, and actual results may be materially less than expectations.  Please refer to the Company’s most recent Form 10-K for a further discussion of risks and uncertainties. Investors should take such risks into account and should not rely on forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made.  We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements as of any future date.

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